Instigator / Pro
0
1500
rating
4
debates
12.5%
won
Topic
#4308

Prisons Should be focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment (for any and all cases of crime)

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Winner
0
1

After 1 vote and with 1 point ahead, the winner is...

Bella3sp
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
5
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
30,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
1
1524
rating
52
debates
75.96%
won
Description

Should governments change prison systems to focus on rehabilitation?
Con = The prison system sometimes has to use means of punishment.
You may also use ex-convicts' lives post-prison.
Including cases of Murder, rape, etc.
Please use factual evidence for any arguments.
Thank you.

Round 1
Pro
#1
First and foremost, I’d like to thank my opponent forparticipating in this debate.

To begin, I am assuming that my opponent will use examplesof violent offenders and how punishment can be a means of control. Within theterm violent offenders. In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligentmanslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Minor offensesconsisting of the latter half and the former being major.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Violentcrime had the lowest recidivism rate, but prisoners also faced longer sentencesthan other types of crime. I believe that using psychologists to aid inlowering recidivism rates and overall bettering the lives of convicts andex-convicts is the best route to take.

Only two studies have specifically linked changes in dynamicrisk factors to post-treatment recidivism outcomes in violent offenders (Lewiset al., 2013; Olver, Lewis, & Wong, 2013). In both studies, the ViolenceRisk Scale (VRS; Wong & Gordon, 2006) is used to assess therapeutic changesin dynamic risk in a sample of 150 high-risk incarcerated adult male violentoffenders. Participants attended an eight-month high-intensity cognitive behavioralviolence intervention and were followed up for approximately five yearsfollowing release from prison. The results indicate that reductions in VRSdynamic risk scores are associated with significantly lower violent recidivismafter controlling for pre-treatment risk level (Lewis et al., 2013) andpsychopathy (Olver et al., 2013). Positive therapeutic changes are negativelycorrelated with psychopathy, and thus risk reduction. These findings suggestthat dynamic risk factors are changeable and that reductions in risk are associatedwith lower recidivism upon release, but that psychopathy is a potentresponsivity factor that can interfere with treatment outcomes. I propose usingthe cognitive behavioral violence intervention for non-psychotic violentinmates instead of punishing them for reacting to mental issues.

In the terminology of the legal system, incarceration isreferred to as “punishment” (Newman, 1985), although this usage entangles twomeanings. The first meaning implies societal retribution; in essence, those whohave made others suffer are, in the interest of fairness, made to suffer aswell. The second meaning implies rehabilitation, or a lessening of odds thatthe individual will engage in future criminal behavior. It is in this usagethat legal punishment is intended to function as operant punishment, aconsequence that reduces the probability of occurrence of the behavior on whichit is contingent. The purpose of the present article was to evaluate theefficacy of legal punishment, as it is practiced in the USA, as operantpunishment. 

Given the dramatic rates of incarceration in the USA, ifincarceration actually functions as operant punishment, the rate of criminalbehavior should be relatively low, but statistics show that is not the case.Following imprisonment, individuals who have been incarcerated are oftenunsuccessful in transitioning back to public life and are likely to commitfuture crimes (i.e., recidivate). Indeed, America has an overwhelmingly highrecidivism rate. A review of data from 30 states found that 70 % of prisonersreleased in 2005 were rearrested for a new crime within 3 years, and about 75 %were rearrested for a new crime within 5 years (Durose, Cooper, & Synder,2014). For 50 % of these prisoners, re-arrest led to incarceration within 3years, and for 55 %, re-arrest led to incarceration within 5 years. Schlosser(1998) suggested that brief stays in prison followed by re-arrest creates anenvironment where criminals can learn from each other about how to engage incriminal behavior. Clearly, as typically practiced in the USA, incarcerationqualifies as a poor intervention for improving criminal behavior.
Con
#2
I thank my opponent, @Saraagadalla, for allowing me to participate in this debate, 

Let me remind the voters that its not who has more sources but rather better sources. I urge the voters to take that into consideration as per the voting option it says "better sources" not "more sources". Yes, the Instigator has more sources but do they work? 

Preamble:
As con, I am providing five contentions that support my position. 

Burden of Proof:
BoP is shared between both pro and con. 

Pro (per title) argues that prisons should be focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment (for any and all cases of crime)
Con (per description) argues the prison system sometimes has to use means of punishment.

As con, I only have to provide why sometimes the prison system has to use means of punishment. 

Definitions:
Every definition provided will be provided from Merriam-Webster and any wanted changes can be asked. All these definitions are specifically cut to the point where it works with this topic. However, like I said, any changes can be asked. I don't usually spend multiple rounds debating definitions meaning i'll most likely accept.

the action, process, or result of rehabilitating or of being rehabilitated: such as
b : the process of restoring someone (such as a criminal) to a useful and constructive place in society


1
the act of punishing

2
a: suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution
b: a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure


an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government
especially a gross violation of law

2
a grave offense especially against morality

3
criminal activity
efforts to fight crime

4
something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful

Observations:
- Pros sources aren't clickable. When looking up the same words, I noticed that Pubmed had the same reference expect a different date. If pros sources could be linked that would be great. I prefer not looking up all of con's sources. 

Important Comment:
If someone had killed twenty people, should get they get rehabilitation? If someone had raped and killed nine, should they get rehabilitated? Pro said for all and any cases of crime. So, should they be rehabilitated and let off into society or be given life sentence/death penalty? 

1. "Pre-punishment" for all prisoners
First off, doesn't the prison system sometimes have to use means of punishment when someone is sent to prison? Everyone has to be punished. How so? Isn't going to jail by itself a punishment? Let's think about it, you break a law and commit a crime your punishment is going to jail. The focus is to make sure the criminal is kept in prison (their punishment) until further notice.

When you are being taken into custody you're handcuffed. This is you're punishment for committing a crime. It's the small things as well.

2. Rehabilitation can be punishment
Rehabilitation can be forced meaning this is a form of punishment. If I am forced to do something that I don't want because of a wrong I committed, is this punishment? Yes, this can be considered punishment. I'll use another example to tie it all together, a teenager vadilizes the school and has afterschool detention as punishment. The focus is making sure they show up to detention (their punishment) but lets consider detention as rehab. In some detentions the student is educated to try and prevent the student from doing the same thing over. But what is this? This is forced. They did not want to come to detention, lets say they had other plans - going to a soccer game perhaps. This is their punishment, missing out on other things they wanted to do. Another way to look at it is their punishment is being forced to do something against their will. 

Lets not forget, the seperation from loved ones and society while undergoing rehabilitation is the punishment as well.


3. Violent Offenders 
Who really deserves rehabilitation? If another murders another, esspically serial killers, do they really deserve rehabilitation? I believe the punishment should be death penalty or at least life sentence and this usually is the case with someone who has committed many murders. In other countries, besides the US (unless in extreme cases), rape cases are punishable by death. Yes, in India death is the punishment for raping by being hung. 

Now lets get down to the real question of this contention. My BoP is:  The prison system sometimes has to use means of punishment. I believe the prison system has to use death as a punishment. Rehabilitation for those who have killed someone who will never get that life back again? I don't think so. Would anyone, and I mean anyone want a murder who has killed their child. And keep in mind, without religious beliefs, will never come back. They are gone, dead. They will never be brought back to life but you want them out of prison?

One more example. Rape. I used this in my first paragraph but i'll reinstall it more clearly. Please let me know families or the victim that would be alright with their child's/their rapist to be walking around so quickly. Oh my goodness with this topic. People can get pregnant from this very thing. What happens? "Oh nooooo, you got raped? Well, i'm sorry.. kinda? You're forced to have this baby. On top of that, wow! I don't know if you can attend school anymore, you know to take care of this baby." Then for the parents who aren't understanding, "And well, you have to move. We're kicking you out." 

Imagine you're life being ruined by someone. But guess what, it doesn't matter! As long as they don't commit a crime again, the crime they originally committed that was directed towards you doesn't matter. We're offering them a chance!  


4. Eye for an eye - deserving?
There is a form of punishment called "eye for an eye" (1) expect this case is taken literally by the name. As quoted, "an Iranian woman who was blinded in an acid attack by a man who she had refused to marry." This was meant to serve as a punishment. 

Lets add some more content. Not only was her eye taken out, but it affected her entire face. It started to become deformed. What does this do to another? Will people like her looks anymore? Probably not. Could she she get treated unfairly, be the odd one out? It's likely. Not only the physical but mental trama from that.

But lets really believe, hey, lets let them out for taking rehab! He messed up a girls life and well, he needs an early release just for taking rehab!

I can't imagine being the victim and having someone walk out after months just from rehab while parts of my life have been messed up.

5. Thought process
If you commit a crime, lets say rape, you shouldn't expect to be put into rehab and then after that you're done. If anyone can just commit a crime and get out in a few months what does this say about society? Do we care more about letting them off easy rather than a punishment for your wrongs?

When you make bad decisions expect consequences, punishments. 

Rebuttals:
I am almost confused with pros argument. 

To begin, I am assuming that my opponent will use examplesof violent offenders and how punishment can be a means of control. Within theterm violent offenders. In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligentmanslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Minor offensesconsisting of the latter half and the former being major.
What is this? Some of these words confused me for a moment, remember to put spaces between them for next time.

Yes, I will use examples of violent offenders and how punishment should be ordered for them.

If you continue reading the article it states, "murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft."

Also, you said any and all cases of crime. Using only violent threats pose only some crime cases.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Violentcrime had the lowest recidivism rate, but prisoners also faced longer sentencesthan other types of crime. I believe that using psychologists to aid inlowering recidivism rates and overall bettering the lives of convicts andex-convicts is the best route to take.
Andex-convicts? 

I am going to treat this as pros introduction. All he is really doing is restating his resolution cut in half saying "Prisons should be focused on rehabilitation".


I will say, punishment is needed. Punishment is needed for what the crime is committed. Think about this, should someone who received life sentence(s) for murder be placed back into society? Do we really want to place them back in society? 

Someone who commits murder should never be allowed out of prison. If they escape the factor of a possible death penalty. If you kidnap someone, I don't find that you should get out of prison for a long time, heck, maybe even never. Do you know the emotional damage, no pun intended, that does on someone? Absolutely disgusting.

Only two studies have specifically linked changes in dynamicrisk factors to post-treatment recidivism outcomes in violent offenders (Lewiset al., 2013; Olver, Lewis, & Wong, 2013). In both studies, the ViolenceRisk Scale (VRS; Wong & Gordon, 2006) is used to assess therapeutic changesin dynamic risk in a sample of 150 high-risk incarcerated adult male violentoffenders. Participants attended an eight-month high-intensity cognitive behavioralviolence intervention and were followed up for approximately five yearsfollowing release from prison. The results indicate that reductions in VRSdynamic risk scores are associated with significantly lower violent recidivismafter controlling for pre-treatment risk level (Lewis et al., 2013) andpsychopathy (Olver et al., 2013). Positive therapeutic changes are negativelycorrelated with psychopathy, and thus risk reduction. These findings suggestthat dynamic risk factors are changeable and that reductions in risk are associatedwith lower recidivism upon release, but that psychopathy is a potentresponsivity factor that can interfere with treatment outcomes. I propose usingthe cognitive behavioral violence intervention for non-psychotic violentinmates instead of punishing them for reacting to mental issues. 
Despite the fact the dates are from years ago ill continue.. 

I'm going to be honest, I skimmed. Let me repeat their last part for a summary, "Cognitive behavior violence intervention for non psychotic violent mates instead of punishing them for reacting to mental issues."  My contentions already respond to this. "Rehabilitation is punishment" specifically responds.

If someone has mental issues they shouldn't be punished? Even if they have rehab, it would be focused on getting them their punishment, prison. Like i've said in my second contention, rehab is punishment.

Just because they have mental issues doesn't mean it excuses the wrongs that have been implemented on someone. This marks back to my third contention. The criminals issues doesn't excuse the families daughter or sons death, trauma, etc. This is what should be focused on.

You say "significantly lower violent recidivism after" but for what crimes?  And is this for all crimes? 

Also, this my final saying. I only have to prove that prisons sometimes need to use punishment. And you concede to this fact. How you say? You say "for non-psychotic violent mates". Okay, but what about psychotic violent mates? No, what about.. the ones who knew what they were doing and did it without a mental illness/disorder?

In the terminology of the legal system, incarceration isreferred to as “punishment” (Newman, 1985), although this usage entangles twomeanings. The first meaning implies societal retribution; in essence, those whohave made others suffer are, in the interest of fairness, made to suffer aswell. The second meaning implies rehabilitation, or a lessening of odds thatthe individual will engage in future criminal behavior. It is in this usagethat legal punishment is intended to function as operant punishment, aconsequence that reduces the probability of occurrence of the behavior on whichit is contingent. The purpose of the present article was to evaluate theefficacy of legal punishment, as it is practiced in the USA, as operantpunishment. 
Pro seems to concede to the fact rehabilitation is a punishment? Part of incarceration is rehabilitation? They begin to talk about how it, incarceration, has two meanings. Societal retribution and Rehabilitation

Also, pro, you talk about how this article proved something though it really didn't.

So basically pro repeats this same thing a bit differently in the next paragraph with evidence, so lets move down.

Given the dramatic rates of incarceration in the USA, ifincarceration actually functions as operant punishment, the rate of criminalbehavior should be relatively low, but statistics show that is not the case.Following imprisonment, individuals who have been incarcerated are oftenunsuccessful in transitioning back to public life and are likely to commitfuture crimes (i.e., recidivate). Indeed, America has an overwhelmingly highrecidivism rate. A review of data from 30 states found that 70 % of prisonersreleased in 2005 were rearrested for a new crime within 3 years, and about 75 %were rearrested for a new crime within 5 years (Durose, Cooper, & Synder,2014). For 50 % of these prisoners, re-arrest led to incarceration within 3years, and for 55 %, re-arrest led to incarceration within 5 years. Schlosser(1998) suggested that brief stays in prison followed by re-arrest creates anenvironment where criminals can learn from each other about how to engage incriminal behavior. Clearly, as typically practiced in the USA, incarcerationqualifies as a poor intervention for improving criminal behavior.

Summary for voters and myself, pro argues that after incarceration they are likely to commit another crime. Basically, it doesn't do much for improving criminal behavior as it says in the last sentence.

Further, do you have any updates from this year? All I see is, 2005, 2014 and 1998. These are years ago, so, do you have any present or from 2022 that provides evidence for this claim?

You haven't even stated for what crimes were committed.

Think about it this way. How many people would commit crimes if it weren't for prison, the punishment? Let's be honest. This goes with many things. Many avoid trying to talk back to their parents to avoid punishment. Is this thought always going to stop someone? Of course not or there wouldn't be any prisoners. The same can be said about rehab though. But how many people wouldn't commit a crime because of the likely chances of being caught, arrested and put into jail? 

Alright lets move this even further this. As I said, for what crimes? If you're going off crimes that aren't crimes such as violent crimes then this section has no use whatsoever. You have to prove for all and any case of crime. 

What has pro tried to prove here?
- Treatment (rehabilitation) for non-psychotic violent mates. 
- Efficiency with rehabilitation.
- Inefficiency with incarceration.

What has pro not proved?
- Pro hasn't proved that ALL and ANY cases of crime should not get punishment but rather rehabilitation.

Sources:
[4] https://rb.gy/snxehz (eye for an eye)
Round 2
Pro
#3
Forfeited
Con
#4
Extend. 
Round 3
Pro
#5
Forfeited
Con
#6
Oh come on..

I'll continue to extend if or until the last round. 
Round 4
Pro
#7
Forfeited
Con
#8
If you can post an elaborate discussion before your next time frame, I shall ask voters to waive all your previous forfiets. 

But seriously, I was actually looking forward to this conversation.

Anyways, extend.
Round 5
Pro
#9
Forfeited
Con
#10
Alright, whatever.
Extend and end.